The Age of Stupid is the most appallingly hypocritical and smugly cruel film of the year.
And I write this in the full knowledge that Michael Moore, a multi-millionaire filmmaker funded by a Hollywood studio, has a new documentary that states “capitalism is evil.”
The Age of Stupid really is so much worse.
The film is dishonest from the start. It is billed as a “documentary,” but it is set in the future with an actor (Pete Postlethwaite) reading a script. Postlethwaites character, "the Archivist," looks at documentary footage which shows we, in the here and now, were all so stupid that by 2050 the human race is about to become extinct due to man-man climate change.
Despite being a mostly script-driven science fiction film, The Age of Stupid has been accepted for screening at some of the larger documentary film festivals across the planet.
It seems the rules don’t apply if you’re heart is in the right place. Which raises the question — do the makers of The Age Of Stupid really have a heart? Or, to be blunt, do they live on the same planet as the rest of us?
I raise the “what planet are they on question” because watching The Age of Stupid was a very disconcerting experience for this forty-something year old.
I know I’m not supposed to understand the youth of today as I shuffle around with my pipe and bedroom slippers, but is it really “cutting-edge” and “revolutionary” to campaign to keep the poor of the world stuck in pre-industrial poverty? Is it really “progressive” to promote technology, such as windmills, that were found to be obsolete a couple of hundred years ago?
But these futures are all advocated by the makers of The Age Of Stupid who seem to be going out of their way to show that conservatives, with their skepticism about the present, and belief in the future, are today’s true radicals.
And progressives with their lack of faith in progress are now the modern-day “deep conservatives” who worship the glorious past and fear the future.
Only on Planet Stupid could Jeh Wadia, an Indian businessman who wants to provide cheap, 20 cent flights and end poverty in India, be portrayed as a villain. Believe it or not, Wadia’s dream is not unrealistic – at least not economically. Thanks to RyanAir I recently flew from Dublin to Paris for just $1.50. Ireland’s recent economic prosperity coincided with the setting up of efficient air, road and sea transport networks. But as long as environmentalist policies championed in The Age of Stupid trump economic common sense, Wadia and his countrymen will be forever mired in a progressive Utopia where India’s poor don’t deserve the chance to visit their relatives, do business, go on cheap holidays, or even to fly promoting their latest documentary. Again, only on Planet Stupid could someone produce a documentary warning that "apart from setting a forest on fire, flying is the single worst thing an individual could do to cause climate change," and then promptly fly around the world to promote it.
Despite also warning that we need to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2015 or we will reach the "tipping point" where devastation is assured, director Franny Armstrong has embarked on a global aviation orgy. She is currently in New York to promote the film. According to her own website, she visited the U.S. earlier this year and went to Australia to promote the film there. She did admit to “feeling guilty” but travelled nonetheless. This raises several questions.
Does she believe her own documentary? Or is she so hypocritical that she believes restrictions only apply to brown and black people who are desperate for economic development, or to the "white trash" of the developed world who want to travel for vacations and entertainment?
In the end these questions don’t need to be answered. The answer is somewhere in her actions.
It seems it is now acceptable to make "caring" documentaries advocating the impoverishment of billions of people and their children and grandchildren. Fifty years ago, when rich, white people told brown people how to live, it was called “imperialism.” Now we have rich white people with beards, woolly jumpers and maybe even a camera crew telling these same people how they can live, what they can burn and how they can use their natural resources. They even claim to care about the future of these impoverished peoples.
But their sympathy and sandals do not alter the reality that they are modern day imperialists posing as environmentalists.
The Age of Stupid should really be named The Age of Hypocrisy as so-called radicals force the poor to live in a way they would never tolerate for themselves. And if they get their way, it will mean An Age of Pain for hundreds of millions across the planet.
The Age of Stupid premieres in New York on Monday Sept 21 and then goes nationwide. Check press for details of local screenings but I’d really rather you didn’t (it truly is that bad).